X-Cart is an open source shopping cart platform that can be downloaded as a freemium product, a one-time license, or made available as a hosted service. The company that owns X-Cart, Creative Technologies LLC, is based out of Russia and released X-Cart in 2000. There are more than 30,000 e-stores using X-Cart and it was the first PHP shopping platform worldwide. X-Cart initially developed a business strategy by offering lower price segments than companies such as IBM WebSphere Commerce. In 2009, X-Cart developed a freemium product, helping customers get acquainted with the service. X-Cart's cloud service is listed as one of the best-hosted e-commerce platforms. It also allows certified developers to add customized functionality to hosted shops. There are also three downloadable packages.
- Mobile features
- Auction capabilities
- SSL security
- Cloud subscriptions
There were many benefits that came with the different X-Cart, which stood apart from the rest of the providers in the industry. There aren't that many companies that let businesses manage their website from a mobile device, which is something that is standard with X-Cart. We also liked the fact that rather than a free trial period, there is a freemium version that lets you try the product for as long as you'd like.
- The X-Cart Mobile Admin: An app feature that lets you capture payments, view orders, and manage your store on the go.
- Responsive design for visitors who use their mobile device to visit your e-store.
- Shopgate, which is a mobile app that gives your e-store a unique look and feel on a mobile device.
- Other great features, such as a mobile skin and point of sale to process credit card payments anywhere you want to take the physical location of your business.
We also really liked the auction capabilities of X-Cart. It is integrated with eBay very easily. Also, it is possible to set a price floor on your X-Cart so that you can do an auction for particular products on your website.
SSL security was another very important feature for us. There are six different hosted solutions with X-Cart, some with a shared SSL and others with a dedicated SSL. Here are the prices we found and the SSL features:
- Starter: $29.95 per month with shared SSL
- Basic: $49.95 per month with shared SSL
- Standard: $89.95 per month with shared SSL
- Enhanced: $199 per month with dedicated SSL
- Professional: $299 per month with dedicated SSL
- Enterprise: $399 per month with dedicated SSL
Not only are the pricing options scalable for small businesses with the promise of an SSL (some companies require that you buy an SSL certificate through a third-party provider), but you also get a server with a lot of storage and bandwidth. You get anywhere from 20 GB to 160 GB of SSD storage. There is also a cap of 6 TB of bandwidth on the Enterprise option. We found that the SSD server space and high bandwidth means that your e-store loads very quickly on web pages.
All cloud subscriptions feature:
- Solid State Drives
- 99.99% uptime guarantee
- Daily backups
- PCI compliant servers
- A dedicated IP address
- Virus scanning and spam filters
We found that X-Cart was scalable, upwards and downwards, instantly. You can choose a lower subscription tier at a later date or you can upgrade at your leisure.
In addition to the hosted services, you can also download a permanent license for X-Cart. This lets you install the service on your own servers and use your own existing infrastructure.
- App integrations
- Extra costs
- Single lifetime licenses
There were a few things that concerned us about X-Cart.
For the lower subscription levels that use a shared SSL, you have to use a subdomain, such as www.yourbusiness.xcart.com. With the higher-end subscriptions, you get your own dedicated domain.
We also did have some concerns about the app integrations. There are many great app integrations to help improve the functionality of your e-store, such as translation modules, but these cost anywhere from $40 to $60 (though there are many available for free).
While we did like the high number of themes, both free and premium, the premium themes were priced out of this world. One theme that we saw advertised, a health theme, costs $99. If you have a legacy version of X-Cart, you have to pay $959 to use this.
We also liked that you could migrate your current e-store to X-Cart, but once again, this came at an extra cost. There is a migration price calculator on the X-Cart website that gives you an estimate for moving your e-store. We would like to see migration help included with the X-Cart cloud subscription.
Single Lifetime Licenses
While the single lifetime licenses may seem like a good idea, there were some red flags, in our opinion. The prices range from $495 to $3,995. You have to pay for additional upgrades and this quickly decreases any savings you might expect from buying a single license.
The Bottom Line
We recommend X-Cart. We think that their hosted cloud solutions are among the best in the industry. They offer SSD servers, which make your e-store run a whole lot faster. We also felt like their mobile versatility was unmatched in the industry. Overall, X-Cart represents one of the best solutions, in terms of scalability, for businesses. We also liked that all the cloud service subscriptions don't charge a transaction fee.
While there are a few themes to choose from, we found that the premium themes were much more attractive (and a bit more expensive). At this time, we really don't see a need for customers to purchase a one-time license from X-Cart. The upgrades make the single licenses prohibitively expensive. We also encourage users to check out some of the free and premium integrations that are included in their app store, too.